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Obama Says Fox News Viewers See a ‘Different Reality’ From Everyone Else

In a new interview with The 19th, former President Barack Obama has said that Fox News viewers see a “different reality” compared to “readers of The New York Times”. President Obama spoke about the role that traditional and social media plays in furthering divisions and political polarisation in the US.

“I think a lot of that has to do with changes in how people get information,” Obama told The 19th. “I’ve spoken about this before, but if you watch Fox News, you perceive a different reality than if you read The New York Times. And those differences have been amplified by social media, which allows people to live in bubbles with other people who think like them.”

TOPSHOT – US President Barack Obama(R)welcomes President-elect Donald Trump to the White House in Washington, DC January 20, 2017. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

He added that the country is “more divided than when I first ran for president in 2008”: “America has been fractured by a combination of political, cultural, ideological and geographical divisions that seem to be deeper than just differences in policy,” he said.

President Obama said his former Vice President, current President Joe Biden, is the right man to attempt to bridge that gap. In an endorsement video for then-candidate Biden when he was running for president, Obama said: “The other side has a massive war chest, the other side has a propaganda network with little regard for the truth.”

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“Until we can agree on a common set of facts, until we can distinguish between what’s true and what’s false, then the marketplace of ideas won’t work,” President Obama told The 19th. “Our democracy won’t work. So, as citizens, we need to push our institutions in the direction of addressing these challenges.”



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